Growing up in Newton in December was very interesting. So many of our classmates and friends weren’t Christian, and I often wondered what folks of other faiths thought at this time as our world is filled with music, laughter, lights, and food, leading up to the unabashed joy of Christmas Day.
December brings so much to all of us- so many memories- many very happy, some difficult, too. Some reach back and yearn for a time that has passed. Others look ahead.
As much as Advent calls us to look ahead with joy, it calls us to focus, to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for the coming Savior. How beautiful that in the midst of the chaos this season brings that we should pause and rejoice in the Blessed Mother on the feast of her Immaculate Conception. She, in her humility, her openness, and her love calls us to slow down, to find comfort and courage and look ahead to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
During this season when we seem to rush around at a dizzying pace, let’s take time to pause and learn from our Blessed Mother to look beyond the displays and find the presence of Christ. She is pointing Him out, encouraging us to look to Him, to follow Him.
I grew up a stone’s throw away from an historic place: Echo Bridge. It spanned two towns- Newton and Needham, and it’s a great place to take a quiet walk and admire nature as it changes through the seasons. When I think of parishes working together as we are beginning to do, I always think about bridges, starting with Echo.
St Mary- St. Catherine and St. Francis de Sales parishes are beginning the process of building a bridge- becoming a collaborative. Our parishes, rich in history and with so much to share, will embark on a mission to work closer together. How? That remains to be seen. This will be my third collaborative, and each came into their own in different ways. We will share not only a pastor, but we’ll also share supplies, facilities, liturgies, communications, schedules, councils and more.
There will be changes as time goes by, and I’m going to lean on the strength and ask for the counsel and support of our staff, and parish pastoral and finance councils as we walk through the decisions. The Archdiocese will help us, giving us assistance, recognizing that we will cross our bridge as God calls us here, in our own way.
I want to make it clear that as we begin this new period that what makes each parish extraordinary remains as it is. As you heard me say last weekend, I’m here to build. It’s going to take a while, I ask your patience, as well as your prayers.
With Christmas coming we’ll need help with the additional worshipers that will be coming into the Parish for Christmas Eve Family Mass at 4pm, Christmas Day Mass at 8am and 10:30am. We need Ushers to help with quickly assisting with collection and helping greeters finding seats during mass. If you can help please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 617-242-4664. Please note which mass you will be able to help with and be willing to be available 15-30 mins prior to mass.
There are Christmas Flower envelopes in the back of the Church for those who would like to make a donation in memory of a loved one. The flowers are placed on the Altar for Christmas. Be sure to include the name of your loved one on the envelope. Names submitted by Friday, December 16 will be included in the bulletin for Christmas. All names received after that date will be added to a future bulletin. You may drop the envelope in the collection basket or mail to the Parish Center at 46 Winthrop Street.
As is our tradition, your generosity provides Christmas aid to St. Mary Center for Women and Children, Charlestown Recovery House, Veterans Shelter, our Parish’s Conference of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, and Sisters of Saint Joseph Prison Ministry.
Due to COVID restrictions, some of our giving tree tags request gift cards or monetary donations. Please see specifics below:
St. Mary Center for Woman & Children—specific request for a gift.
Charlestown Recovery House – please give a gift card, T-Pass, or Dunkin Donuts gift card.
Veterans Shelter — please give a gift card, T-Pass, or Dunkin Donuts gift card.
St. Vincent de Paul Society— a monetary donation is requested for clients in our Parish who have many different needs, ie. rental assistance, beds, and a myriad of other requests.
Checks should be made payable to St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Sisters of St. Joseph Prison Ministry – Due to Dept. of Corrections security regulations, monetary donations are requested. The Chaplain will buy needed items such as combs, shampoo, soap, deodorant, calendars, lotion, tooth paste, stationary, and pens which will then be inspected by DOC.
Once the items are approved by security, the items will be assembled in gift bags within the prison by Chaplaincy Volunteers. Checks should be made payable to Sisters of St. Joseph Prison Ministry”
Donations may be placed under the tree. Please place the tree tag on the outside of the gift/envelope. Please submit your donations by December 20th for delivery.